Fire and Ice

Chapter Eight

© 2004 by Shari

Beta Read by SailorTerra


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"Three weeks, three weeks" Nephrite paced up and down Jadeite's quarters, mumbling to himself whilst the blond watched impassively from his position on the sofa. "Are you sure you haven't seen him?"

Jadeite shrugged, "Zoisite does not seek out my company or anyone else's unless he wants something. Why would I have seen him?"

Nephrite ceased pacing and decided to instead stand directly in front of the third king. He had sent a Youma to summon Zoisite and the luckless creature had been discovered a day later with an ice crystal imbedded in its heart. Of course Zoisite had never been the most obedient of creatures, or so Jadeite had said, but this was for his own gains as well was it not?

"Look" Jadeite snapped at last, more concerned for his already worn carpeting than a plan that seemed to have backfired somewhat. "If you are really that worried I suggest you pay him a visit. I know for a fact that Kunzite is visiting the Earth realm and will not return until later on this morning."

Nephrite looked more or less furious at this. "Which region?"

"Tokyo, Japan, I believe."

"Tokyo is under my jurisdiction. What does Kunzite want there?"

Jadeite shrugged, "How should I know? I shouldn't even know this much but if there is one good thing to say about Tetis then that is that she knows exactly what is going on in the Kingdom."

Nephrite smirked slightly at this, "Are there any other things that Tetis is good for then?"

He could have sworn Jadeite blushed slightly before sniping back "Of course not! Don't be stupid, she's a Youma."

Nephrite's grin widened, "A very attractive Youma."

Jadeite snorted and stood, "I hope Kunzite kills you" he growled before stalking from the room. Nephrite heard an adjacent door slam behind him. His merriment was now forgotten as he invoked a teleport that would take him directly to Kunzite's manse.

Of course, when Nephrite got there, he was unable to get in on the account of the teleport wards surrounding the castle like dwelling. He shivered, despite himself as he gazed up at the manse. Around him a thunderstorm raged as, perhaps, a warning to those who were not welcome. What if Zoisite was dead? That thought had not crossed Nephrite's mind until now. We'll soon see, he thought grimly as he rapped loudly on the solid oak door. After what seemed an age it was pulled hesitantly open. Kunzite obviously did not have visitors; Nephrite mused to himself and then forced a hardened frown across his face when he was met by the irritated forth king.

"Oh it's you" was his exact words when he saw Nephrite standing there.

"Yes it's me," he growled softly, "And you were supposed to report to me two weeks ago."

Zoisite shrugged and grinned wickedly "I've had things to do. It's hard work being a king of the Dark Kingdom. We can't sit around drinking wine all day."

Nephrite chose not to let the comment rile him and pushed passed the smaller man as he made his way inside, looking warily around for Kunzite and relaxed when Jadeite's information proved to be accurate. Kunzite was nowhere to be found.

"Yes, do come in Nephrite-sama" Zoisite snapped sarcastically as he slammed the door shut with a resounding thud and glared daggers as Nephrite made himself comfortable on the blue sofa and reached for the bottle of wine on the small table. To his delight he discovered a clean glass beside it and quickly helped himself to a drink.

Zoisite slumped down opposite him, folding his arms across his chest in a pout.

"I thought we didn't sit around drinking wine all day?"

"I don't" Zoisite retorted, "That's Kunzite-sama's."

The younger man sniggered when Nephrite abruptly set the glass back down. "How are things with Kunzite?" he enquired as if he were casually asking what day it was.

"Fine" the shields were back up, he noted, seeing Zoisite's suddenly tense stance.

"Fine?"

"Yes fine. Now is there anything else? I have things to do you know."

"Elaborate on fine" Nephrite suggested quietly, the hint of a threat entering his voice, "If I recall correctly we had a deal."

"We did" Zoisite admitted, "But..." a sly smile now spread across his face.

"But what?"

"I am now the forth king of the Dark Kingdom, am I not? A rank that I could never had hoped to achieve alone. The way I see it I owe you nothing. I have obtained the rank I want and therefore I do not need you or Jadeite."

Nephrite, in about the span of a second went through several different emotions. The first being intense fury at what the little man was saying. The double-crossing little rat! Nephrite wanted nothing more than to kill him then and there but then the logical part of his brain took over. This could be used to his advantage. Nephrite struggled to calm his anger and allowed some embarrassment take its place. How could he, the second of the four heavenly kings, let some mere trainee get the better of him? He was a fool to even trust Zoisite. Then the calm was back. Nephrite picked up the glass of wine again and took a defiant sip.

"That may be so" he said coolly "But you are very much mistaken. You do need us, more than ever now."

"What do you mean?"

"Think about it. We are all in on this together. I am sure Kunzite would be furious to know that you have aspirations of usurping his rank in the kingdom and even this very minute are plotting against him."

Zoisite turned ashen at this, "Y-you wouldn't dare?"

"I would, and believe me I have no qualms in taking you down with me if you decide to inform Kunzite of our little plan. So the way I see it, you have no choice in the matter."

Nephrite stood and stalked towards the younger king, pressing a small object into his palm "Plant this in his room, tonight, and I will do the rest."

Zoisite nodded and Nephrite, satisfied with this, left. Zoisite, he knew, would not confess anything to Kunzite. If he did he would be dragging himself down with them.

For what seemed an age, Zoisite sat, staring at the object in his hand, fine tremors racking his body. Millions of thoughts rushed through his head. Kunzite-sama... over the growing weeks he had become more and more attached to the older man. Zoisite was aware that he followed him everywhere like an adoring puppy, hanging onto the older man's every word. Hells, he had even made an effort with his studies to try and please his mentor. If the truth were known, Zoisite had fallen in love with Kunzite, despite his best efforts to crush any feelings he had for the man. Emotions were dangerous in the Dark Kingdom. Beryl forbid against such love and yet the more Zoisite told himself that it was wrong, the more he found himself wanting Kunzite. Still, he had dared not attempt to seduce him after his last attempt met with such failure. Kunzite would assume that Zoisite was hell bent of achieving a higher rank and would never act on any advance on Zoisite's behalf. Instead, the younger king had started willing that Kunzite come to him and demand that Zoisite give him what he wanted. This hope was based upon a Youma rumour that Kunzite allowed students to share his bed. A rumour, Zoisite had decided a week ago when it became clear that Kunzite had no interest in him whatsoever. It was nothing but a dumb rumour.

The young king set the object down upon the table, his slightly tear-filled gaze drifting to the bottle of wine beside it. That had been his last ditch attempt, he thought bitterly. He had resolved to wait here for Kunzite's return and suggest that they celebrate a successful mission with a glass of wine. Zoisite had planned to get drunk and hope that Kunzite would take advantage of him, the wine affecting his judgement and lowering the icy fašade. Zoisite, in truth, hated to lower himself to that level, but if it meant that Kunzite would love him, even for one night, then it was worth it. As it was Kunzite still saw Zoisite as a little whore. He rubbed his temples with a hand. This still pained him, even now.

Zoisite leaned forward and gently unwrapped the folded cloth that Nephrite had given him. It was made of the finest silk from the Moon Kingdom and depicted a silhouette of Queen Serenity. Wrapped inside it were some plans, all showing the routes that Beryl had mapped out that they take, all were folded up into little squares of paper no bigger than Zoisite's palm. They were handwritten, Nephrite had probably got them copied from the originals but even so there was no way to tell that the second king had been the one behind all of this. Nephrite would not be stupid enough to draw them out himself. This was Nephrite's plan. He wanted to convince Beryl that Kunzite was a traitor. Traitors were put to death. Zoisite shuddered at this. How could he allow that to happen? How could he frame Kunzite-sama? He couldn't... but if he didn't then Nephrite would tell Kunzite what he planned to do, leaving out the small detail of his own involvement. Kunzite would kill him. Zoisite did not want to die. He rose from his chair, and started quickly up the staircase and then down the corridor to Kunzite's bedroom.

The superiority and liquid calm of the first king was present even here, without him having to be here in person, Zoisite thought as he stepped up to the four-poster bed, a hand touching the dark blue sheet, momentarily imagining Kunzite's lips pressed against his own, and then the Ice King pushing him down onto the bed, his hands slipping under Zoisite's uniform... the little man shook his head, biting his lip in dismay. That could never be. Jerking away from the bed, Zoisite came to a stop beside the set of drawers. He pulled the top one open and saw the neatly folded duplicates of the Ice King's uniform. He pulled out a jacket and pressed it to his face, inhaling the familiar and comforting scent of the older man. Still, Zoisite did not know what to do. He loved Kunzite but did he love him enough to die? Shaking his head he felt the silk cloth in his palm once more. He could not do this... he could not... the door banged open, causing him to jump. Zoisite whirled around, pushing the jacket back into the drawer along with the plans and cloth in an attempt to hide it from the grey-clad man standing in the doorway. He slammed the drawer shut and gulped.

"Kunzite-sama? I was not expecting you back so soon."

For Kunzite, the mission to search out possible sources of energy in Tokyo had been a welcome relief and even more so when he learned that he was to go alone, without the presence of the little one. True Zoisite was a lovely view and made a change from the dull and drab castle he called home, but lately Kunzite had noted a change in the little one's attitude. He still sniped at orders he did not like and was still quick to anger yet his attitude towards his mentor had changed. Kunzite became aware that Zoisite was trying his utmost to please him, often following him around and attempting to impress him by reading chapter after chapter of the dusty volume that Kunzite had given him. Also the little one had stopped trying to seduce him. Again, Kunzite was glad of this. He did not like Zoisite selling his body in this way. Such beauty was to be cared for, not flaunted in front of soldiers who cared little for the person behind that beauty. Zoisite was not just a pretty face. He was intelligent, perhaps even more so than Kunzite himself. He was witty, whilst physical confrontations were not really his forte, Zoisite excelled at sneak attacks and his magical capabilities were years ahead of his training. It was that temper that let him down. Ruled by his emotions, Zoisite often acted without thinking of possible consequences and had given him the reputation of a temperamental, pretty-boy.

Yes, Kunzite was glad that he had gone alone to Tokyo. It had given him time to arrange his own thoughts and feelings concerning Zoisite into some kind of order. He wanted the younger man more than anything but had realised that he wanted to take Zoisite on his own terms and not be fooled by Zoisite's seductive efforts. In short, Kunzite wanted the decision to be mutual and made because of some kind of feelings rather than a student-teacher relationship or Zoisite's aspirations of a higher rank.

Now appeared to be this time, he thought to himself as he entered his bedroom and came across the little one clutching one of his jackets to his face.

"Kunzite-sama? I was not expecting you back so soon" was Zoisite's startled response as he quickly shoved the jacket back into the drawer.

"What are you doing in here?" Kunzite demanded softly, noting the slight fear in those beautiful green pools. His question was out of curiosity though he had, long ago, decided that wondering why Zoisite did anything was a mystery and that he should not waste his time thinking about it too much.

"I-I was bored" came the reply, "I thought I would tidy up a little for you."

Kunzite raised an eyebrow at the scarce bedroom and neatly made bed, before taking a step closer.

Zoisite backed up, knocking into the drawers. "Forgive me, Kunzite-sama... I shouldn't have come in here without permission... I..."

Kunzite, in two strides, was before the younger king. He reached up with a gloved hand, caressing the little one's cheek before leaning down and placing a soft kiss on his lips. Zoisite responded for a brief moment and then suddenly pulled away, turning his head to one side.

Kunzite, confused at this reaction, cupped Zoisite's chin in his hand and forced the troubled emerald green eyes to look at him. "What is wrong?"

Zoisite shook his head, shaking his chin free as Kunzite leaned forward again, this time pressing his body against the slender man as he kissed him. This time Zoisite responded eagerly, moaning when Kunzite swept him up in his arms and deposited him on the bed. Looking down at the beauty, Kunzite realised that he had made the right choice.


The End of Chapter 8 - Goto Chapter 9


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Disclaimer: Sailormoon is the property of Takeuchi Naoko, Kodansha and Toei Animation. All characters, settings etc. are used without permission. This is an amateur fiction, and I definitely won't make any money of it.


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